The capsule of a Chinese lunar spacecraft has returned to Earth with the first specimens of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years.
The newly collected rocks provided new insights into the history of the solar system’s moons and other bodies obtained by the United States and the former Soviet Union, which are thought to be billions of years younger.
These came from a part of the moon known as the Ocean Procelararam or Storm Ocean, near a site called Manas Rumkar which was believed to be a volcano in ancient times.
Like the 362 kg lunar samples brought back by US astronauts from 19 ast9 to 1972, they are expected to be analyzed for age and composition and shared with other countries.
The age of the samples will help fill a gap in knowledge about the history of the moon from about one billion to three billion years ago.
The capsule of the Chang’e 5 probe landed in Sijiwang district of Inner Mongolia on Wednesday.
It had previously detached from its orbital module and performed a bounce in the Earth’s atmosphere to slow it down before it could float on parachutes.
Two of Chang5’s four modules landed on the moon on 1 December 1 and collected about 2 kg of samples by scooping from the surface and drilling two meters into the lunar crust.
The samples were stored in a sealed container which was returned to the return module by an ascending vehicle.
The successful mission was the latest milestone in China’s growing ambitious space program, including plans for a robotic mission to Mars and a permanent orbiting space center.
Rescue workers housed helicopters and off-road vehicles at the signals emitted by the lunar spacecraft, and it darkly surrounded the snow-covered expanse of China’s far north, which has long been used as a landing site for China’s Shenzhou crew spaceships. .
The return of the spacecraft was marked in 1976. After investigating the Luna 24 robot in the former Soviet Union, scientists have found new samples of lunar rocks for the first time.